30 May 2019 10:25

Russian cosmonauts finalize spacewalk

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) - Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexei Ovchinin have finalized their spacewalk and returned to the International Space Station (ISS).

Roscosmos broadcast the extravehicular activity.

Kononenko and Ovchinin entered the airlock chamber and closed the hatch of the Pirs docking module of the ISS' Russian segment at 12:44 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday.

The spacewalk started at 6:42 p.m. Moscow time on Wednesday to install equipment on the station's exterior and to take samples collected as part of scientific experiments.

Before the spacewalk, Ovchinin and Kononenko congratulated Alexei Leonov, who was the first man to go into outer space in 1965. They had a portrait of Leonov, who celebrates his 85th birthday on Thursday, with them during the spacewalk.

The cosmonauts installed a bridge between the Poisk small research module (MIM-2) and the Zarya functional cargo module as a shortcut for future extravehicular activity.

They removed a connector with mockup sensors from the MIM-2 handle for the purpose of 370-day orbit life of Soyuz-MS manned spaceships and at least 13,320 hours of thermometers' warranty operating time.

Besides, the cosmonauts removed exposition devices of the long-term experiment Test from the Poisk module and took samples. The samples from the exterior of the ISS' Russian segment will undergo chemical, toxicological, and microbiological tests. A towel, which was placed outside the ISS ten years ago, was also removed. The tissue will be taken to the Earth for studying.

Ovchinin and Kononenko did some cleaning, as well. They cleaned the porthole of the Pirs hatch. The space sediment from their cleaning instrument will be studied on the Earth.

The cosmonauts removed panels carrying samples of the space experiment Vynoslivost (Resilience). The loaded and unloaded materials used in space works were exposed to outer space factors.

In the end, Ovchinin and Kononenko disconnected cables and removed measuring units of the space experiment Obstanovka (Situation) focused on geophysical studies and environmental monitoring of electromagnetic emissions. The equipment was dumped into outer space.

This is the first spacewalk of Ovchinin, and the fifth one of Kononenko.